If another round of layoffs took place at NBC Sports Philadelphia, would there be anybody left to cut?
That was my first thought when news broke Monday that more nationwide reductions were taking place, some at NBC Sports digital, and some at the regional sports networks.
Among the notable cuts were writers Craig Calcaterra, Rob Dauster, and Crossing Broad reader Bill Baer. Former NBCSP anchor Leila Rahimi was let go from the Chicago RSN along with the “Sports Talk Live” show that Philly had already axed a few years ago. In Boston, almost 20 people were laid off from their on-air and production jobs.
Here locally, we asked around, and conrete information has been hard to come by. No tweets or Facebook posts from on-air talent or writers, which is good. Perhaps everybody survived.
NBCUniversal confirmed it has begun layoffs that could reportedly amount to almost 10% of its 35,000 employees just a week after parent company Comcast Corp. reported the division suffered a 25% decline in revenue due to theme park closures, the postponement of movie releases and faltering advertising sales.
The company said NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC10 and Telemundo 62 were all impacted as NBCU-owned stations but did not provide a number or details about those affected. At least two sources said they are not aware of any on air talent cuts at NBC Sports Philadelphia but that President Brian Monihan noted the layoffs during a Monday call with staff.
As you know, there’s been a revolving door of talent coming in and out of NBCSP over the years. Marshall Harris, Molly Sullivan, Jess Camerato, Andy Schwartz, Dei Lynam, Ron Burke, and Neil Hartman all come to mind. We did a long form exposé back in 2018 in which current and former employees described management as difficult to work with. One noted that “the approach to incorporating legitimate change has been so ham-fisted.” The in and out of various talented individuals also didn’t seem to sit well with employees there.
But Philadelphia is a strong sports market and the NBCSP has solid footing here, so right now no news is good news when it comes to another round of cuts and layoffs. Perhaps it’s just other markets making some of the cuts that Philly already made.
As for NBC 10 and Telemundo, there was a voluntary buyout offer during the COVID-19 period, and longtime anchor Vai Sikahema announced he would be retiring in November. Denise Nakano also left, but the decision apparently was not hers. We’ll update if we find out anything of substance, though we hope not to.
Edit: Some people were indeed notified, but given 30-60 days heads up, so you probably won’t hear anything until they decide to make personal announcements. Bummer.
Maureen Quilter, Senior Communications Director, is out –
— Maureen Quilter (@mo_quilter) August 5, 2020
Edit 4 – Enrico is also out:
After 10+ years, my time at @NBCSPhilly is ending as part of layoffs across NBC Sports.
I’m excited for a brand new challenge.
Know of an amazing team in need of a top-notch utility player: MBA/writing/strategy/social/biz dev/digital/consulting — open to all industries. Hit me.
— Enrico (@The700Level) August 5, 2020